our accountancy practice is exactly the same as the next one in your town … at least that's what your potential customers think. Here are three considerations to prove them wrong … because they are wrong, aren’t they?
Positioning is the strongest differentiator for any accountancy practice, and should be the first consideration when a practice is looking to set itself apart from the competition.
As I said in my recent blog article, if you can readily and easily name your competition in your local area (or worse still you find you are losing custom to a competitor) then your positioning - in the eyes of your potential customers - is no different to that of the other practices you compete against. Lack of differentiation can lead customers to make buying decisions based on price, which in turn can force practices to compete on price … not something the expert practice needs to want to do.
So how do you avoid this common situation? The answer lies in evaluating your positioning statement. If you want to be a horizontally positioned practice that is considered "The Local Accountancy Practice" then educate your audience as to why you are the best choice in the area via regular blogs and social media.
Better still, consider vertical positioning to develop a deeper expertise. Cater for a specific industry sector, a client demographic, or specialise in a certain area of accountancy. There are many advantages to vertical positioning; it’s easier to be considered the "go to" for your specialism, you reduce your competition, and (dare I say) you can command higher fees.
Once you’ve clearly articulated your positioning you may find it appropriate to undertake a re-branding exercise. This is a great opportunity to step away from the cliche grey and blue. Time to refresh your business stationery, beautify your social media profiles and display your confidence through some considered and deliberate design.
Your branding is, of course, much more than just your logo - the logo’s purpose is solely to identify. Your brand identity covers the entirety of how you present yourself through marketing; your choice of colours, your typefaces, your website design and your tone of voice.
Thought Leadership (aka "Putting Stuff Out There")
To help bolster your practice's reputation make sure you’re publishing interesting and helpful blog posts, and try adding some useful tools to your website that can benefit your clients (how about printable tax cards or a tax calculator for example?).
Thought Leadership is about being consistent on social media, following that all important mantra: Be Helpful, Be Interesting, Be Knowledgeable … it’s about giving something away, a little bit of insight, and stepping into your customers shoes.
Finally, three magic words, (no, not Making Tax Digital), Google My Business. Register for it, complete it and post on it (and twist some arms for some reviews).
Get the these things right and you’ll be a shining star in your field of practice and your geographic area … and, of course, you won’t be worrying about what the competitor down the road is doing with their grey and blue logo.